May 11, 2018
Story by Coleen Cape and Micah Oelze
Photo by Brandon Steinert
The Barton Community College Foundation honored Larry and Kathy Schugart with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award during Barton’s 48th commencement Friday.
The Distinguished Service Award was created in 1981 by the Barton Community College Foundation to recognize individuals who have shown genuine regard for, and have performed outstanding service to, Barton Community College. The Barton Foundation Board of Directors selects the recipient from nominations received.
Larry and Kathy Schugart exemplify what it means to live in Great Bend and Barton County. Both graduated from Great Bend High School and were high school sweethearts. After graduating college, they moved several times pursuing various opportunities before returning to Great Bend in 1963 where Larry began his banking career at Peoples Savings and Loan, currently known as Landmark National Bank.
Before his retirement, Larry served the Great Bend area as a banker and community leader for 50 years. Both Larry and Kathy are proof that tireless volunteerism, community involvement and leadership are all critical assets to the community. Larry was involved and served as president of multiple community organizations including Great Bend Optimist Club, Panther Booster Club and Panther Parents, the Cougar Booster Club, St. Patrick School Board, Golden Belt Red Cross and Great Bend Ambassador Club. In addition, he served as chairman of the St. Patrick Church school board, the Triple I Show and Great Bend United Way, as well as director of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. Larry was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Great Bend Jaycees and named “Outstanding Young Man” by the Kansas Jaycees. He is also a member of the Barton Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Larry and Kathy have four children: Brenda, Rhonda, Jeff and Rex. All four attended Barton where two received their associate degrees. Even though Kathy avows she is the chief cook and bottle washer over the years, she managed to do her fair share of volunteerism as well. She is a charter member of Philanthropic Educational Organization Chapter HR and the Progress Club. She currently serves as vice president of the Cougar Booster Club.
“I truly love this little town and the memories it holds,” Kathy said. “Since Larry’s retirement in 2002 we have traveled extensively but we remain in Great Bend by choice.”
Larry and Kathy have been involved with Barton since its inception and are loyal donors and supporters of the Barton Foundation as well. They donate annually to each campaign or initiative and established the Larry and Kathy Schugart Scholarship in 2011. Once again proving their generous nature, in 2012 they donated the funds for the installation of the Larry & Kathy Schugart Family practice basketball court in the Kirkman Building.
“It is difficult to gauge the impact Larry and Kathy Schugart have had, and will continue to have, on Barton Community College and the Foundation,” Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Coleen Cape said. “We are grateful for this opportunity to thank Larry and Kathy, not only for their contributions, but for the legacy their actions will ensure for the future of all the communities served by Barton Community College. Because of their passion for education and their visionary support of the mission of both the College and the Foundation, we are proud to honor Larry and Kathy Schugart with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award.”